1 month ago #7
CoyoteTheGreat posted...
So why did they take such a different tack with this movie than the other two, do you think? Was it a different director/producer?


Yes, the writer/director is an unknown quantity. According to his IMDB page the only movie he's ever been involved with is GND3. I saw online that he is a pastor from down south, and I also saw it said that his name is just a pen name for a better director/writer who didn't want his name associated with the movie or to be anonymous for whatever reason. Regardless, the guy knows how to set down a camera and film a scene properly, and his writing is much more mature than the past two movies. As my wife said, she forgot we were watching a Christian movie as we watched this. There were only a couple times that the dialogue felt overly expositional or heavy-handed (which is pretty typical for movies in general but something that was constant in the last two movies of the series). The conversations felt extremely real. There were no cheesy resolutions to the individual conflicts the characters faced, and like I mentioned, nobody becomes a Christian who wasn't a Christian at the start of the movie and the story doesn't punish anyone for being a non-Christian.

the final bahamut posted...
From your synopsis it very much sounds like the pastor was the one who estranged himself from his non-Christian brother because of said brother's lack of Christian faith. Does he grow to realize how f***ed up a thing that is to do? It sounds like the movie acknowledges in-story that the church has a history of neglecting the needy and furthering abuse, does the pastor do anything to change that or does he just wring his hands and conclude that this is just "the worst brought out in everyone"?


I felt as though yes, the movie threw this in the main character's face, and yet he (surprisingly) didn't have a moment where he went to his brother and apologized for how he had treated him. The non-Christian brother (the movie doesn't have him comment on his personal stance on God's reality in the movie so I hesitate to call him a Christian) has his own character flaws to answer for, like why he didn't help take care of his parents as they got older and sick and left all that responsibility to his brother. They both have things to forgive each other over but about 80% of the way through the movie their anger boils over and the lawyer brother decides to leave and go back home (he had moved in with the pastor brother from a long distance away to help for the duration of the case). It seems that their relationship issues won't be resolved but after the pastor decides at the end not to fight the legal case any longer, they have a phone call in which its made clear that both brothers are going to continue to have a relationship and no longer be estranged over their past failures.

In short, both brothers make each other known of their character flaws and the movie ends on a note that they're going to work on their relationship but that neither of them is entirely fixed yet. For better or for worse, this is realistically how guys often deal with their issues (fight about it, get the words out, perhaps they don't verbally apologize but they treat each other better in the future and try not to make the same mistakes again). I liked that the movie ended in this way rather than having a cheesy reunion where both brothers cry it out. It felt a lot more real the way the movie handled it.

So I found the movie extremely evenhanded in the way it placed blame and let all characters have their say. I can't think of another movie (either pro- or anti-Christian) that was able to do this so well. It was probably too "morally ambiguous" for most Christians to handle which is why this movie flopped compared to the last two.
I steal your sock.

Previous Versions
1 month ago
CoyoteTheGreat posted...
So why did they take such a different tack with this movie than the other two, do you think? Was it a different director/producer?


Yes, the writer/director is an unknown quantity. According to his IMDB page the only movie he's ever been involved with is GND3. I saw online that he is a pastor from down south, and I also saw it said that his name is just a pen name for a better director/writer who didn't want his name associated with the movie or to be anonymous for whatever reason. Regardless, the guy knows how to set down a camera and film a scene properly, and his writing is much more mature than the past two movies. As my wife said, she forgot we were watching a Christian movie as we watched this. There were only a couple times that the dialogue felt overly expositional or heavy-handed (which is pretty typical for movies in general but something that was constant in the last two movies of the series). The conversations felt extremely real. There were no cheesy resolutions to the individual conflicts the characters faced, and like I mentioned, nobody becomes a Christian who wasn't a Christian at the start of the movie and the story doesn't punish anyone for being a non-Christian.

From your synopsis it very much sounds like the pastor was the one who estranged himself from his non-Christian brother because of said brother's lack of Christian faith. Does he grow to realize how f***ed up a thing that is to do? It sounds like the movie acknowledges in-story that the church has a history of neglecting the needy and furthering abuse, does the pastor do anything to change that or does he just wring his hands and conclude that this is just "the worst brought out in everyone"?


I felt as though yes, the movie threw this in the main character's face, and yet he (surprisingly) didn't have a moment where he went to his brother and apologized for how he had treated him. The non-Christian brother (the movie doesn't have him comment on his personal stance on God's reality in the movie so I hesitate to call him a Christian) has his own character flaws to answer for, like why he didn't help take care of his parents as they got older and sick and left all that responsibility to his brother. They both have things to forgive each other over but about 80% of the way through the movie their anger boils over and the lawyer brother decides to leave and go back home (he had moved in with the pastor brother from a long distance away to help for the duration of the case). It seems that their relationship issues won't be resolved but after the pastor decides at the end not to fight the legal case any longer, they have a phone call in which its made clear that both brothers are going to continue to have a relationship and no longer be estranged over their past failures.

In short, both brothers make each other known of their character flaws and the movie ends on a note that they're going to work on their relationship but that neither of them is entirely fixed yet. For better or for worse, this is realistically how guys often deal with their issues (fight about it, get the words out, perhaps they don't verbally apologize but they treat each other better in the future and try not to make the same mistakes again). I liked that the movie ended in this way rather than having a cheesy reunion where both brothers cry it out. It felt a lot more real the way the movie handled it.